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Although we do everything we can to avoid them, power outages happen. When an outage occurs, this is our process for communicating with you, and how we calculate that estimated time of restoration (ETR).

When the power goes out

From a fallen power line to storm damage, when a fault is reported on our network that is causing an outage our teams jump into action. They investigate where the fault is, and what has caused it, and how to get the power back on as quickly as possible, while maintaining the safety of our crews and the community.

We also let our customers know. From summer 2022, we will automatically be sending SMS to all electricity account holders impacted by an outage.

SMS communications allows us to get information quickly and directly through to you about the outage, and the estimated time of restoration.


The SMS alert system

During a power outage, the SMS you are likely to receive include:

Acknowledgement of the power outage and the link to our outages webpage for more information

Updates on changes, including earlier or later ETR's

Confirmation your power is back on

We will also send further updates when available, particularly for longer outages.

For more information see our outage communications FAQs.

How do we calculate your estimated time of restoration?

Calculating the estimated time of restoration requires a complex algorithm that takes into account three key factors:

What is queue time?

As the name suggests, queue time refers to when the outage was logged in the system, and the amount of time since.

What is travel time?

This refers to how long it takes our teams to reach the site of the fault and begin investigating the issue.

What is repair time?

Once the fault is identified, repair time refers to how long it will take to rectify the issue.

Outage and repair priorities

As well as the queue, travel and repair time factors, the ETR also takes into account other priorities in terms of getting the power back on.

This prioritisation framework acts as a guideline to help with decision-making in an outage situation. For example:


Any outage caused by a hazard, like a fallen power line, or that has an electric shock potential, will be prioritised, as they bring an increased risk of injury or damage.


Critical fault

A fault that could impact life support or life critical equipment, for example, an outage at a hospital or medical service, will be prioritised.


Number of affected customers

With widespread outages, a fault that is impacting the largest number of customers will be prioritised for repair over a fault impacting a smaller number of people. Our objective is always to get power back to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.


It’s important to note that ETR's are an estimate only and can change. For example, a delay to ensure the safety of our work crews when restoring power during high-fire risk weather. Changes to the ETR will be communicated via SMS.

How we prepare for outages

We work hard to make sure outages are minimised, particularly when we know there is a higher risk for outages.

For example, a spell of many days of high temperatures, or a severe storm front, increases the likelihood of a fault, damage and outages.

We prepare for these events in advance, ensuring all part of the business are aware and prepared for the likelihood of outages, and that our field teams are ready and on-call to respond where needed.

This enables us to attend to any network issues, and gives a faster response for impacted customers.

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